HUFFINGTON POST

The 'Gentle' Face Of Al-Qaeda - In Pictures

In this Oct. 10, 2012 photo, Lalla Arby, 22, who was beaten by Islamist group Ansar Dine for sitting outside her home in Timb
In this Oct. 10, 2012 photo, Lalla Arby, 22, who was beaten by Islamist group Ansar Dine for sitting outside her home in Timbuktu with her head uncovered, poses for a picture in a headscarf in Bamako, Mali, where she now lives with relatives. In recent months, al-Qaida and its allies have taken advantage of political instability within Mali to push out of their hiding place and into the towns, taking over an enormous territory which they are using to stock arms, train forces and prepare for global jihad. And as 2012 draws to a close and the world hesitates, delaying a military intervention, the extremists who seized control of the area earlier this year are preparing for a war they boast will be worse than the decade-old struggle in Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

Images of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and their local offshoots and rivals in northern Mali.

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